From Bigger Restrooms To More Parking, Residents Weigh In On New KCI Airport Design

Nov 30, 2017

Bigger restrooms. Convenient parking. More Outlets. Better food options. 

Residents in Kansas City's Northland weighed in on what they'd like to see included in the design for a new, single terminal at Kansas City International airport. 

More than 100 people attended Thursday night's community design workshop, presented by Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, the team selected to design, build and finance a new terminal. 

Although initial renderings were released in October, Edgemoor promised city officials they would gather community input before deciding on the final design. 

Some of the recommendations were simple — make the restroom stalls big enough for modern travel.

"They want the doors to go out so it's easier to pull your bag inside, they want several hooks so they can hang up a coat and a purse at the same time and they want a place to set their phone... so all these are very helpful for us," said aviation director Pat Klein.

Residents broke out into small groups to discuss concerns and priorities for a new, single terminal at KCI.
Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Some ideas were more innovative — put the parking garage below ground and top it with a green space, so the airport's facade isn't blocked. 

Geoff Stricker, managing director at Edgemoor, says all the feedback is useful. 

"Obviously, the general themes will inform the design, but if we get some great specific ideas, then we will look to incorporate those as well as we move forward," Stricker said. 

The general themes that dominated Thursday evening's meeting were not surprising — convenience, more parking and a Kansas City feel. 

Residents were asked to select the images that most represent Kansas City. The most popular were the sports complex, fountains, Union Station, and of course, barbecue.
Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

When asked what represented Kansas City, most residents said fountains, Union Station, the Plaza and naturally, barbecue. 

Several more workshops — one in each city council district and another in Johnson County — are scheduled over the next 2 weeks. 

Earlier in the day Thursday, city council members got a look at the first draft of the city's memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Edgemoor, a development agreement that sets out basic basic hiring requirements and outlines when and how the terminal will be built. 

Councilman Jermaine Reed says over the next several weeks, the council will dig into the 50 page document. 

"Certainly, I don't expect for our council to rubber stamp what has been negotiated thus far," Reed said.

He says all 13 council members have different priorities they'll be looking for in the document. 

Reed says the community benefits agreement is of particular interest to him — making sure that Edgemoor meets the city's goals for minority hiring in all phases of the project. 

The council is set to discuss the MOU at next week's airport committee meeting. 

Lisa Rodriguez is the afternoon newscaster and a reporter for KCUR 89.3. She's on Twitter @larodrig